Massimiliano Allegri spoke to the media for the first time since returning as Juventus boss on Tuesday afternoon.
Allegri, accompanied by club president Andrea Agnelli, didn’t hold back as he was quizzed on a multitude of topics.
Here are six things we learned from the press conference (all quotes are sourced from the official website).
Excitement & Youth emphasis
After Agnelli kicked things off, the president handed the keys to Allegri for the main event. One thing was clear from the outset, the boss is re-energised and rejuvenated.
His opening statement read: “For me, it’s a new first time, I’m excited.
“I’ve started again with lots of emotion and fun, like when I first started coaching. I am with a group of good and quality young people, who are joining the first team. It’s a new cycle here, let’s think about the future.”
With several senior members only just returning to pre-season training this week following the Euros, plenty of unfamiliar faces were in action as Juventus kicked off their summer with a 3-1 pre-season victory over Cesena on Saturday.
The likes of Felix Correia, Fabio Miretti and Filippo Ranocchia started the bout, while Koni De Winter and Matias Soule Malvano got on the scoresheet. These are names we could be seeing more of for the first team this season.
Commenting on Juve’s young talent, Allegri said: “There are many youngsters here, they will be an added value and the future of the Club. Then there are the more experienced, like Chiellini, Bonucci
and Ronaldo, who will be examples for the youngsters.”
He really loves Dybala
Allegri’s admiration for Dybala wasn’t so obvious during the final season of his first reign, often shifting La Joya to an unfavoured wide position to accommodate new arrival Cristiano Ronaldo.
Nevertheless, it’s clear now that the returning boss is desperate for Dybala to remain in Turin and emerge as a centrepiece in his second project. The Argentine endured a ‘down’ year thanks to injury last time out but he stole the show in 2019/20 as the Bianconeri claimed their ninth-straight Scudetto with Maurizio Sarri at the helm.
Dybala was Serie A’s MVP that season, and Allegri is keen to facilitate a renaissance in 2021/22.
“It will be an important year also for Dybala who has presented himself very well, both physically and mentally: he is very motivated,” Allegri said.
“He arrived when he was a kid. Now he is a man who realises that this is an important year for him. He has extraordinary plays, I expect a lot from him.”
The boss also revealed that thanks to Leonardo Bonucci’s disloyal excursion to the red and black side of Milan in 2017, Giorgio Chiellini will be captain with Dybala his vice.
Who intrigues him?
There are plenty of fresh faces for Allegri to digest this summer. The squad’s changed considerably from the 2018/19 iteration.
The players who intrigue him, however? That’ll be Adrien Rabiot and Weston McKennie. The Italian noted the former’s “important qualities” and the latter’s “instincts for goals”. The American’s late box entries proved effective at times last season, as he helped himself to five Serie A goals.
McKennie scored a peach in Saturday’s victory over Cesena and Football Italia reported that Allegri shouted from the touchline: “You’ve got to score ten goals this season!” following the strike. Your move, Weston.
In addition, Allegri also touched upon the qualities of Dejan Kulusevki. He described the dynamic Swede as “an excellent player, with an important engine, who needs to improve in the execution phase.”
It’s hard to dispute that analysis!